Ungrounded three-prong outlet

If your house was built after 1962, you shouldn’t have to read this

That’s because houses are currently built with a ground wires that act like an emergency off ramp in case something goes wrong. If a wire got loose in your fan, it would create a “short circuit”, and instead of spinning the blades, would take the shorter path to ground. If the fan had a ground wire, the electricity would go straight to ground without passing through you first.

Remember; electricity always wants to go back to where it came from, through the ground.

Before there were ground wires to all outlets, the outlets all had only 2 slots. The trouble starts when those outlets get replaced. If the replacement outlet has three holes, a person could be unpleasantly surprised if the fan developed a short circuit, and that person touched something grounded. The person would be the path. No good.

So, what to do? Easy; Hire an electrician to install GFCI’s

Honestly, if you’re surprised by anything you’ve read so far, you’re not qualified to perform home wiring. I still love you, but don’t let ego help you start a fire. An electrician will help the fan’s loose wire problem stay manageable by taking out the outlet and installing a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. If you want to see what it looks like to have an electrician do it, click Don’t do this yourself!

It will have a little sticker on that says “No Equipment Ground”. That means that surge protectors won’t perform properly, which means that your computer and TV won’t be protected in case of a nearby lightening strike.


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